Late payments in Arch Hall cost overruns
CONTRACT BREACHES AND fractured financial rules were among key factors in over $3.6 million cost overruns for the controversial on-again, off-again Arch Hall, St Thomas fire station, reopened two weeks ago nearly a decade after being approved.
In a just-released Special Audit, Auditor General Leigh Trotman said late payments to contractors – leading to a cessation of operations last July – were a major issue which resulted in extra costs, through factors such as charges for interest and extension of time.
He characterised it as a project suffering from deficient management in the monitoring process, involving failures in the transmission of important information to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, and high-level approvals not being sought prior to variations being undertaken.
“The failure to properly manage the project has resulted in delays in its progress, significant cost increases, a lack of funds for completing the operation, and the ultimate suspension of works, with facilities not being completed for use, thus placing pressure on some of the other fire stations,” said the audit. (AB)
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